Northern Tier Boy Battles Rare Cancer

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Northern Tier Boy Battles Rare Cancer

GILLETT (WENY) -- An 11 year old boy from the Northern Tier wants to save lives when he grows up. But right now, he's in a fight for his own - with a rare form of cancer.
     This weekend, his famiy and friends are throwing a benefit to help with growing medical bills.
     "He's outdoors a lot and he has fun outside and now he can't and it makes you mad," said Dakota's grandfather, Walter Dickerson, SR.
     Wheelchair bound and unable to do the things he loves most; 11 - year old Dakota Wade Dickerson of Gillett was diagnosed in February with a rare cancer of the brain and spine.
     "We took him down to Robert Packard a couple times and they said nothing's wrong," said Walter Dickerson, Jr. "We took him to Geisinger nothing's wrong. Then we went to a psychiatric hospital, then he had a seizure."
     And that's when they found out something was wrong.
     Testing showed that Dakota had Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor, also known as P- NET.
     But despite his diagnosis, he has big dreams.
     "I've always wanted to be a firefighter. Save people and help save their lives," said Dakota Dickerson.
     More focused on saving other's lives in the future while he's fighting for his right now. Dakota remains strong.
     When I asked him why he was the best Junior firefighter, He quickly said...
     "Because I'm tough and I can beat cancer."
     But he refuses to let his cancer slow him down.
     He might not be able to walk, but he still gets around - and loves riding his ATV.
     "He wants a new four wheeler. So, that's what he's going to get. If he wants it, he's going to get it to make sure he has whatever he wants," said Debora Dickerson, Dakota's grandmother.
     Dakota has his next chemo treatment in May. His family remains hopeful he'll regain use of his legs.   
     "It's really an adjustment for him because he's hollering for something and he wants to walk again," said Walter Dickerson Senior. "But hopefully he will someday."
     When Ashley Dickerson saw her family was in need, she decided to put on a benefit for the young fighter.
     "Their family and I wanted to help my family out to support them. Anything, if they need anything. I will do it," said Dickerson.
     The Benefit for Dakota will be at the Ridgebury Township Community Hall on *April 27th in Gillett, Pennsylvania at 11 am. 

 Team Dakota Benefit: